End to ambulance waits in Scotland

GPs no longer face long delays when making an urgent request for an ambulance following an agreement between Scottish GPC (SGPC) and the Scottish Ambulance Services (SAS).

GPs have waited four and a half hours for an ambulance
GPs have waited four and a half hours for an ambulance

GPs had complained their calls were being deprioritised when they called for an ambulance for their patients.

Dr Bob Mack, from Dumfries and Galloway, told the Scottish LMCs conference in Clydebank last month that a request from a GP should not be over-ridden by an ambulance service call-handler who believes the patient is in a ‘place of safety'.

'Our record is four and a half hours for a one-hour urgent request. Apart from the clinical hazard to the patient this causes, it also causes great worry to the family,' he added.

Joint deputy chairman of SGPC Dr Andrew Buist said: 'A lot of those patients are as sick as some of those using 999 and GPs know that.'

But a system which came into effect on 1 May created new categories for GPs so they can define the clinical need of their patients.

There is the option of GPs requesting an ambulance within one, two, three or four hours, or over four hours.

Do you face long waits when requesting ambulances? Comment below or email us at GPletters@haymarket.com  

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